Recognizing Cruise Ship Impact

The last time we cruised out of Galveston, we were impressed that the hotel we booked for the night before the cruise allowed us to leave our rental car in the hotel lot for five days, until our return.

Just a little extra.

There’s a hotel in Seattle that is also catering to people who cruise. It’s called the “Seattle Cruise Transportation Package” and it includes an oversized studio suite, hot breakfast buffet, Internet and transportation for two from the downtown hotel to the cruise terminal.

It’s a Marriott hotel — called the SpringHill Suites Seattle Downtown/South Lake Union — and it’s a sign that hotels in particular are directing marketing more and more at cruise passengers. That tells you how much cruising means to an economy when a ship is home-ported in a city. How many of us want to go early or stay late in a city that’s home to the cruise ship you’re taking?

It’s not just a few more heads in a few more beds…it’s meals in the restaurants, gifts from the gift shop, parking where applicable (and where isn’t it applicable these days?).

The only flaw with the Seattle hotel’s pitch was there was no indication that there was any kind of bargain on the rack rate…in fact, there wasn’t even price. Lots of hotels these days have breakfast and Internet included, so discriminating cruisers are just going to do the math — room plus a cab versus room that includes a shuttle.

Hey, we’re not stupid!

DAILY DEAL:
Norwegian Epic
7 nights
May 27, 2012
Barcelona (return): Naples, Rome, Florence, Cannes, Marseille
Inside  $699
www.ncl.com

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